Bees latch on to similarly-sized nectarless flowers to unpick pollen - like keys fitting into locks, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Stirling.
The research shows the right size of bee is needed to properly pollinate a flower. The bee fits tightly with the flower's anthers, to vibrate and release the pollen sealed within.
"We found that a pollinator's size, ... Read more »
Solís-Montero, L., & Vallejo-Marín, M. (2017) Does the morphological fit between flowers and pollinators affect pollen deposition? An experimental test in a buzz-pollinated species with anther dimorphism. Ecology and Evolution. DOI: 10.1002/ece3.2897
What to do when your prey refuses to be swallowed? Eurasian Spoonbills (Platalea leucordia) in Hungary have a solution…... Read more »
Meet the Moroccan flic-flac spider (Cebrennus rechenbergi), a truly unique spider that when provoked or threatened escapes by doubling its normal walking speed using forward or backward flips similar to acrobatic flic-flac movements used by gymnasts.
C. rechenbergi is a species of huntsman spider indigenous to Morocco and can be found in the sand dunes of the Erg Chebbi desert . The spider ... Read more »
Ralf Simon King. (2013) BiLBIQ: A Biologically Inspired Robot with Walking and Rolling Locomotion. Biosystems . info:/10.1007/978-3-642-34682-8
by Piter Kehoma Boll Charles Darwin had already noticed that small animals, such as those found in zooplankton, are widely distributed around the world, even those that are found in small ponds of freshwater. This seemed to go against the … Continue reading →... Read more »
Gómez, A., Serra, M., Carvalho, G., & Lunt, D. (2002) Speciation in ancient cryptic species complexes: evidence from the molecular phylogeny of Brachionus plicatilis(Rotifera). Evolution, 56(7), 1431. DOI: 10.1554/0014-3820(2002)056[1431:SIACSC]2.0.CO;2
Øie, G., Makridis, P., Reitan, K., & Olsen, Y. (1997) Protein and carbon utilization of rotifers (Brachionus plicatilis) in first feeding of turbot larvae (Scophthalmus maximus L.). Aquaculture, 153(1-2), 103-122. DOI: 10.1016/S0044-8486(96)01514-1
Suatoni, E., Vicario, S., Rice, S., Snell, T., & Caccone, A. (2006) An analysis of species boundaries and biogeographic patterns in a cryptic species complex: The rotifer—Brachionus plicatilis. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 41(1), 86-98. DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2006.04.025
Walker, K. (1981) 13. A synopsis of ecological information on the saline lake rotifer Brachionus plicatilis Müller 1786. Hydrobiologia, 81-82(1), 159-167. DOI: 10.1007/BF00048713
In a recent study, researchers provide a new theory for the reason we walk the Earth
A new provocative study suggests it was the power of the eyes and not the limbs that first led our ancient aquatic ancestors to make the momentous leap from water to land. According to it, crocodile-like animals first saw easy meals on land and consequently evolved limbs that enabled them to get there, ... Read more »
MacIver MA, Schmitz L, Mugan U, Murphey TD, & Mobley CD. (2017) Massive increase in visual range preceded the origin of terrestrial vertebrates. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 28270619
Do online pet obituaries reveal how we truly feel about our pets?Guest post by Jane Gething-Lewis (Hartpury College).“You were such a selfless and giving boy. Dad loves you with all his heart.”A heartfelt online tribute to a dearly departed loved one – but this loved one had four legs, a tail and was called Cosmo. Over the top? Not necessarily. Research suggests that many people feel the loss of a beloved pet as keenly as the loss of a child.The bond people have with each other has long be........ Read more »
Kwong, M., & Bartholomew, K. (2011) “Not just a dog”: an attachment perspective on relationships with assistance dogs. Attachment , 13(5), 421-436. DOI: 10.1080/14616734.2011.584410
MacKay, J., Moore, J., & Huntingford, F. (2016) Characterizing the Data in Online Companion-dog Obituaries to Assess Their Usefulness as a Source of Information about Human–Animal Bonds. Anthrozoös, 29(3), 431-440. DOI: 10.1080/08927936.2016.1181374
The group feautred in this videp was formed by three adult or sub-adult whales. Social behavior of the True's Beaked Whale is still unknown but the group seemed to dive in a coordinated manner, as has been observed in other species of beaked whales. Credit: Roland Edler
True's beaked whales (Mesoplodon mirus) are such an elusive species that it's only now that we finally have the ... Read more »
Aguilar de Soto, N., Martín, V., Silva, M., Edler, R., Reyes, C., Carrillo, M., Schiavi, A., Morales, T., García-Ovide, B., Sanchez-Mora, A.... (2017) True’s beaked whale (Mesoplodon mirus) in Macaronesia. PeerJ. DOI: 10.7717/peerj.3059
New study by researchers at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) shows how bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) can be trained to score goals with a mini-ball, revealing unprecedented learning abilities:
Researchers train bumblebees to move a ball in order to access a sugar solution as a reward.
The study, published in the journal Science, suggests that species whose lifestyle demands advanced ... Read more »
Loukola, O., Perry, C., Coscos, L., & Chittka, L. (2017) Bumblebees show cognitive flexibility by improving on an observed complex behavior. Science, 355(6327), 833-836. DOI: 10.1126/science.aag2360
Kristin Walovich holds the newly described species of ghost shark
Photo Credit: Kristin Walovich
Researchers recently announced the discovery of a new species of ghost shark, Hydrolagus erithacus. Ghost sharks - which aren’t actually sharks but instead their closest living relatives - are an extraordinarily rare sighting. Actually, it was just a few months ago, when a ghost shark was filmed... Read more »
Walovich KA, Ebert DA, & Kemper JM. (2017) Hydrolagus erithacus sp. nov. (Chimaeriformes: Chimaeridae), a new species of chimaerid from the southeastern Atlantic and southwestern Indian oceans. Zootaxa, 4226(4). PMID: 28187604
Scientists have sequenced the DNA of two extinct birds: the moa and the elephantbird. Comparison with their living relatives led to some surprising findings.... Read more »
Yonezawa T, Segawa T, Mori H, Campos PF, Hongoh Y, Endo H, Akiyoshi A, Kohno N, Nishida S, Wu J.... (2017) Phylogenomics and Morphology of Extinct Paleognaths Reveal the Origin and Evolution of the Ratites. Current biology : CB, 27(1), 68-77. PMID: 27989673
Deep sea creatures come with all kinds of strange features that help them to survive their cold, dark habitat.. Some have eyes the size of a basketball, others come with appendages that blink and glow, deep-sea dwellers have developed some strange features and the "cockeyed" squid Histioteuthis heteropsis has one normal eye and one giant, bulging, yellow eye.
One ... Read more »
Thomas KN, Robison BH, & Johnsen S. (2017) Two eyes for two purposes: in situ evidence for asymmetric vision in the cockeyed squids Histioteuthis heteropsis and Stigmatoteuthis dofleini. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 372(1717). PMID: 28193814
by Piter Kehoma Boll If you have your face buried in the mud at the bottom of a European lake, you may end up finding some of those tiny little roundworms known as Monhystera stagnalis. As usual, there is no common … Continue reading →... Read more »
Pehofer, H. (1989) Spatial Distribution of the Nematode Fauna and Production of Three Nematodes (Tobrilus gracilis, Monhystera stagnalis, Ethmolaimus pratensis) in the Profundal of Piburger See (Austria, 913 m a.s.l). Internationale Revue der gesamten Hydrobiologie und Hydrographie, 74(2), 135-168. DOI: 10.1002/iroh.19890740203
Traunspurger, W. (1996) Autecology of Monhystera paludicola De Man, 1880 – Seasonal, Bathymetric and Vertical Distribution of a Free-living Nematode in an Oligotrophic Lake. Internationale Revue der gesamten Hydrobiologie und Hydrographie, 81(2), 199-211. DOI: 10.1002/iroh.19960810205
Flabegraviera fujiae (left), the new species described in the
in the new study, and Flabegraviera mundata (right).
(Scale bar: 1cm)
A few days ago, a team of Japanese scientists from the Hokkaido University announced the discovery a new species of polychaete, a type of marine annelid worm.
The discovery took place 9-meters deep underwater near Japan's Syowa Station in Antarctica and provides... Read more »
Jimi N, Tsujimoto M, Watanabe K, Kakui K, & Kajihara H. (2017) A new species and the shallowest record of Flabegraviera Salazar-Vallejo, 2012 (Annelida: Flabelligeridae) from Antarctica. Zootaxa, 4221(4). PMID: 28187651
Species: Amphioctopus marginatus
Conservation Status: Not yet assessed
Common Name: Coconut octopus, Veined octopus
Meet Amphioctopus marginatus a medium-sized octopus found in the tropical waters of the western Pacific Ocean The species is best known as the "coconut octopus" ... Read more »
Finn JK, Tregenza T, Norman MD. (2009) Defensive tool use in a coconut-carrying octopus. . Curr. Biol, 19(23). info:/10.1016/j.cub.2009.10.052
The Eatles are munching on several juvenile American alligator skulls... Read more »
George, I., & Holliday, C. (2013) Trigeminal Nerve Morphology in and Its Significance for Crocodyliform Facial Sensation and Evolution . The Anatomical Record, 296(4), 670-680. DOI: 10.1002/ar.22666
Holliday, C., & Witmer, L. (2007) Archosaur adductor chamber evolution: Integration of musculoskeletal and topological criteria in jaw muscle homology. Journal of Morphology, 268(6), 457-484. DOI: 10.1002/jmor.10524
by Piter Kehoma Boll If you think spiders are scary creatures, today you will learn that they are scared too. But what could scary a spider? Well, a web bug! We usually think of spider webs as an astonishing evolutionary … Continue reading →... Read more »
PAPE, R. (2013) Description and Ecology of A New Cavernicolous, Arachnophilous Thread-legged Bug (Hemiptera: Reduviidae: Emesini) from Kartchner Caverns, Cochise County, Arizona. Zootaxa, 3670(2), 137. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.3670.2.2
Resende, L., Zepon, T., Bichuette, M., Pape, R., & Gil-Santana, H. (2016) Associations between Emesinae heteropterans and spiders in limestone caves of Minas Gerais, southeastern Brazil. Neotropical Biology and Conservation, 11(3). DOI: 10.4013/nbc.2016.113.01
Wignall, A., & Taylor, P. (2010) Predatory behaviour of an araneophagic assassin bug. Journal of Ethology, 28(3), 437-445. DOI: 10.1007/s10164-009-0202-8
by Piter Kehoma Boll A fascinating group of animals that has not yet joined the Friday Fellows are the sponges. Different from all other animals, sponges have a unique body structure that behaves more like a plant or fungus. They … Continue reading →... Read more »
Hendler, G. (1984) The Association of Ophiothrix lineata and Callyspongia vaginalis: A Brittlestar-Sponge Cleaning Symbiosis?. Marine Ecology, 5(1), 9-27. DOI: 10.1111/j.1439-0485.1984.tb00304.x
Hoppe, W. (1988) Growth, regeneration and predation in three species of large coral reef sponges. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 117-125. DOI: 10.3354/meps050117
by Christian de Guttry in genome ecology evolution etc
The spotted gar genome illuminates vertebrate evolution and facilitates human-teleost comparisons About 450 mya bony vertebrates radiated into Lobe-finned fish, from which tetrapods appeared later, and Ray-finned fish, which include Teleost (Fig.1). Nowadays they make up to 96 percent of … Continue reading →... Read more »
Braasch I, Gehrke AR, Smith JJ, Kawasaki K, Manousaki T, Pasquier J, Amores A, Desvignes T, Batzel P, Catchen J.... (2016) The spotted gar genome illuminates vertebrate evolution and facilitates human-teleost comparisons. Nature genetics, 48(4), 427-37. PMID: 26950095
Researchers recently announced the discovery of a frog whose groin flashes orange to scare away predators! The species was discovered in Australia.
When biologist Simon Clulow spotted a frog with an unusual marble pattern on its belly, he knew it could be a new species. If that turned to be true, it would be very surprising as the sighting took place on land close to an airport and not some ... Read more »
CLULOW, S., ANSTIS, M., KEOGH, J., & CATULLO, R. (2016) A new species of Australian frog (Myobatrachidae: Uperoleia) from the New South Wales mid-north coast sandplains. Zootaxa, 4184(2), 285. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4184.2.3
by Piter Kehoma Boll A flatworm again, at last! Not a land planarian, but a flatworm nonetheless. If there is a group of flatworms that may put land planarians in second plan regarding beauty, those are the polyclads. Living in … Continue reading →... Read more »
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